In New Zealand, women can take paid leave after an abortion

If a woman in New Zealand now has a miscarriage at any stage of her pregnancy, she can go on three days of paid vacation. And not just the women, but their companions too. No such procedure has been introduced anywhere else in the world. At the very least, the labor attorney who drafted the bill, Jenny Anderson, said she has not found similar legislation anywhere in the world.

In New Zealand, as in many other countries, paid leave has so far been granted to those who were stillborn or have miscarriages, but only if it occurs after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The new law extends this by saying that paid leave is not only after the 20th week.

The new law does not apply to those who terminate their pregnancy with an abortion. Incidentally, it wasn’t until 2020 that New Zealand decriminalized abortion.

New Zealand flag at Parliament House in WellingtonPhoto: DAVE LINTOTT / AFP

In Australia, unpaid leave is only available to those who have aborted after the twelfth week of pregnancy, while in the UK paid leave is available, but only if the miscarriage occurs after the 24th week of pregnancy. In the United States, employers are not required to give anyone paid leave in the event of a miscarriage, although a survey found that nearly twenty percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage in the United States. In New Zealand of five million, the Department of Health estimates that one in two pregnancies will result in a miscarriage, with 95 percent occurring in the first 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

(The New York Times)

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